Although a redesign is coming next year, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro continues to offer stellar performance in an attractive, retro-styled package.
The Chevrolet Camaro sees few changes for the 2015 model year. It continues to be offered in coupe and convertible body styles, as well as a total of eight trims that range from the base 1LS to the high-performance Z/28. A V6 engine and a six-speed manual transmission are standard on the base model, while a six-speed automatic is optional. More power can be found in Camaro SS, ZL1 and Z/28 models, which each come with distinct V8 engine choices.
Like the 2015 Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro features exterior styling that pays homage to the muscle car era of the ’60s and ’70s. While this generation has been with us since 2010, the Camaro received exterior styling updates in 2014 that have helped keep it fresh, including updated headlights and taillights, as well as changes to the front and rear fascias and rear spoiler.
In terms of exterior details, the 2015 Camaro comes with daytime running lights and 18-inch painted aluminum wheels.
Higher trims bring in exterior features like fog lights, 19- or 20-inch wheels and HID headlights. Our test Camaro SS 1LE included unique details like a blacked-out hood and rear spoiler, a front splitter and painted 20-inch aluminum wheels that are similar to what you’ll find on the Camaro ZL1.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro falls a bit short of the competition when it comes to interior quality. While the redesigned Mustang features a driver-focused cockpit with materials that feel premium for the class, the Camaro’s dash has a sparse look and expanses of hard plastics.
Still, our test Camaro featured upscale touches like a suede gearshift and steering wheel, and the included MyLink infotainment system proved to offer straightforward access to audio and navigation settings.
Like most sports cars, the Camaro does not have a lot of back-seat passenger space, and the trunk’s 11.3 cubic feet of cargo space also limits its utility. Outward visibility is also somewhat limited by small windows and thick roof pillars, but the front seats are roomy for the class and our test Camaro’s Recaro sport seats seemed to offer an exceptional balance of comfort and support.
The base Camaro comes with cloth upholstery, while higher trims bring in power-adjustable front seats, leather or suede upholstery, heated front seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and Recaro sport seats.
The base Camaro comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. Camaro SS models with the six-speed manual come with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Opting for the automatic lowers output to 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.
The high-performance Camaro ZL1 features a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional.
Chevrolet says that the Camaro ZL1 has a top speed of 184 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds.
Also available is the track-ready Camaro Z/28, which features a number of enhancements to reduce weight and improve performance. The Z/28 comes with a 7.0-liter V8 engine that produces 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered with the Camaro Z/28.
The EPA reports that the base Camaro gets 17/28 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission or 19/30 mpg with the automatic. Camaro SS models get 16/24 mpg and 15/24 mpg with the manual and automatic, respectively.
Our test Camaro SS featured the 1LE Performance package, which adds a strut tower brace, a unique suspension package, summer tires and a 3.91 axle ratio. So equipped, the Camaro accelerates willingly with a smooth and progressive rush of power that comes on as engine speed increases. The optional dual-mode exhaust system is raucous at higher rpm, with a deep, burbling exhaust note that quiets down nicely at cruising speed.
The Camaro also impresses with responsive steering and – at least in the case of our test SS 1LE – athletic handling that inspires confidence on a twisty stretch of road. The ride is firm but still comfortable, which is an impressive feat considering our test car’s 20-inch wheels and firmer suspension tuning.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro comes standard with satellite radio, Bluetooth (phone only) and automatic headlights. Higher trims bring in features like a Boston Acoustics audio system, navigation and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, which adds Bluetooth audio streaming, smartphone app integration and a 7-inch touch-screen display.
The MyLink system is generally very easy to use, with large touch-screen icons that provide quick access a variety of settings.
Pairing a smartphone was a trouble-free process and the navigation system was easy to program. Still, the Camaro’s technology offerings come up a little short when compared with the Challenger and Mustang, which are each available with features that improve comfort or add a measure of safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2015 Camaro a top five-star rating for its overall performance in crash tests. The Camaro has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
All Camaro models come with electronic stability control, a suite of air bags and the OnStar telematics system. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are optional, but the Camaro currently lacks features like forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro starts at $23,705, which is comparable to the Ford Mustang’s starting price and about $3,000 less than the base Dodge Charger. Camaro SS models start at $33,305, while the ZL1 and Z/28 start at $55,505 and $72,305, respectively.
Our test Camaro was a 2SS model that came with the SS 1LE Performance package ($3,500), Recaro sport seats ($1,995), the RS package ($1,350), dual-mode performance exhaust ($895), navigation ($495) and bright yellow paint ($395). After a $995 destination charge, our test Camaro has an MSRP of $46,930.
That price isn’t out of line for the class, though the recently redesigned Mustang GT Premium offers more feature content for a similar price, especially if you’re looking for driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro lacks some of the technology that you’ll find on its two main competitors, but a completely redesigned model that likely addresses these shortcomings is due next year. In the meantime, the 2015 Camaro is still a muscle car in its purest form, offering strong powertrains, thrilling handling and an eye-catching exterior design.